Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature

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Cover of Fairy Tales from Grimm, from the Baldwin's collection (1894).

The Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida's George A. Smathers Libraries contains more than 103,000 volumes published in Great Britain and the United States from the early 18th century through the present. Its holdings of more than 800 early American imprints is the second largest such collection in the United States. The product of Ruth Baldwin's 40-year collection development efforts, this vast assemblage of literature printed primarily for children offers an equally vast territory of topics for the researcher to explore: education and upbringing, family and gender roles, civic values, racial, religious, and moral attitudes, literary style and format, and the arts of illustration and book design.[1][2][3]

TA great strength of the collection is the many English and American editions of the same work. Other strengths of the collection include 300 editions of Robinson Crusoe, 100 editions of Pilgrim's Progress, fables, juvenile biography, 19th century science and natural history, 19th century alphabet books, moral tales, fairy tales, 19th century juvenile periodicals, 19th century boys' Adventure Stories, 20th century boys' and girls' series, Little Golden Books, pop-up books, and juvenile publications of the American Sunday School Union and other tract societies.

The Baldwin Library has received three NEH grants to digitize its books and the digital versions are continually being added to the Baldwin Library's Digital Collection which had over 929,000 pages online in August 2011, all within the University of Florida Digital Collections. The Baldwin Library is also a contributor to the International Children's Digital Library.


  1. ^ Leslie Barbon (2005). "The Evolution of Children’s Literature Getting Sidetracked–Delightfully–at the Baldwin Library". Children and Libraries (Spring): 43–47. 
  2. ^ "Best of the Web". New York Public Library. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Children’s Historical Collections Further information and online collections of historical children's literature.". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 

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